Crisis Management is a strategic approach to deal with unforeseen events that could damage a brand or some of its activities. A good Crisis Management Plan can result in effective solutions that are salvageable over time.
The RUFA Open Day and 2020 Admissions Case.
As a design, digital marketing and communications studio, it is our job to always be able to properly interpret the cultural situation and social climate in which a brand lives and acts, even – and especially – in challenging times like the present.
Life teaches us that crises are harbingers of growth. As a matter of fact, the solutions implemented to overcome temporary and potentially dangerous situations for a brand – the Crisis Management – can either become a useful development model to face future scenarios caused by unforeseen events, or a valuable asset for the company.
A good Crisis Management Plan is useful for building innovative development models. However, before coming up with a solution, we need to take time to listen to our clients, and share our common goals. This means understanding what our clients are going through and what answers they expect to come from us.
Crises are – most of the time – sudden phenomena. That’s why you should always have a ready-to-use Crisis Management Plan.
The case study of RUFA, Rome University of Fine Arts, which we are currently dealing with, is extremely interesting. If we analyze it in real time, we can draw out some ideas and useful tools for the future.
Every year, RUFA – Rome University of Fine Arts, which is one of the most important Italian academies of Fine Arts, Design and Communication, holds the RUFA Open Day, a meeting with future students and their families aimed at illustrating the Academy’s programs and facilities. Right after the Open Day, RUFA welcomes those students interested in enrolling in the Admissions tests, which result in the first entrance selection to the Academy. Both the Open Day and the Admissions are moments of great emotion for the entire RUFA community: they are like handshakes making a pact of mutual trust and commitment.
At the beginning of the year, for the RUFA Open Day 2020 communication campaign, the saying Flying Colors came into use: students are like colors, learning is like a fast current of light air that enables one’s passions to fly high.
Then Covid-19 came along and everything changed. Everything had to change.
Coronavirus: it’s lockdown!
Activities had to be redesigned in a short time. Crisis.
The Coronavirus pandemic is the first truly global event of our century: without exception, everyone must do their part and participate in finding new ways to live our daily lives. The RUFA Academy, like any other institution, closes its physical doors and has to figure out how to stay open in a different form.
This is the beginning of a troubled journey for all the parties involved in order to understand how to deal with the uncertainty of the Open Day and the Admission tests. Although the date of the event is still a long way off, the situation does not bode well.
What can we do about the current problem? Should we keep the appointments, postpone them, or change their nature? We, Cappelli Identity Design, take part in the coordination operations and we start surfing through information and in-depth analysis sites, thus analyzing data and research, bringing ideas to the table. However, it soon became clear that the RUFA #FlyingColors campaign would need to turn into something else in order to best address the current situation.
Smart, quick, digital: RUFA meets students and their families online.
The new RUFA Flying Colors digital campaign responds to the crisis with strategies and procedures based on the individual relationships. There is a need for adaptation: every sector in our country’s operational reality is beginning to work, study and produce using digital tools.
From the very beginning RUFA implements DL – Distance Learning: the physical university classrooms stay closed while students and professors continue to work together via digital communication.
Once this flexible working mode has been introduced for everyone, even the Academy’s meetings undergo a digital transformation: Open Days and entrance exams for the new academic year are being planned through a new and unprecedented virtual mode.
Our new campaigns are launched with the aim of involving the largest number of young people interested in training at the Academy and who also wish to fly high in their future, “without lowering the volume of their dreams” (Emanuele Cappelli).
The platform provided for the Open Day thus becomes a digital welcoming network that enables students and their families to address questions to the RUFA Guidance Office, which, with great dedication, is redoubling its efforts by being present on every digital channel.
The RUFA Flying Colors digital campaign: from a Crisis Solution to a Value-Added Element.
The RUFA Flying Colors digital campaign encourages future students and their families to read, get information, ask questions, get answers and become part of the RUFA community by attending the Open Day and, later, the Admissions tests, which represent the first step to begin their studies.
One-on-one meetings are set up through RUFA's digital channels, as if they were small personally customized Open Days.
What was a collective and physical group event, based on handshakes and proximity, has not lost its human warmth, but rather quite the opposite: through the digital transformation, the whole meeting focuses on personal relationships, available well beyond the limits of physical space, always open to listening and ready to answer every question with perseverance and completeness.
The added value is represented by the opportunity for a one-to-one relationship that is not lost in the bitstream but instead increases the chances of contact and dialogue. In these times of immobility and uncertainty, a digital transformation strategy shows how a crisis response activity can become a sustainable and efficient solution, full of new possibilities and valuable elements that in the future could even open up new paths to development and growth.